https://www.petmd.com/news/rss en K9 Natural Ltd Voluntarily Recalls Frozen Chicken Feast Raw Pet Food Because of Possible Listeria https://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/k9-natural-ltd-voluntarily-recalls-frozen-chicken-feast-raw-pet-food-bags-becaus-37014  
"Listeria Monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in humans and animals. Symptoms of infection may include nausea, vomiting, aches, fever, and diarrhea, and may lead to most serious issues such as meningitis and abortion," according to a statement from the FDA. "Healthy people and animals can be infected, and some are more susceptible, including young children, pregnant women, frail or elderly people or others with weakened immune symptoms. Animals that become ill with Listeria Monocytogenes could display symptoms similar to humans." 
 
The statement also said that listeria can impact animals who eat the product as well as people who handle the product, especially if they haven't throroughly washed their hands after having contact with the food. 
 
Customers who purchased the bags are asked to check the batch numbers and expiration dates, which are stamped on the bottom left of the package to see if they match the recalled product. They are: 
 
- Batch number #150517 with an expiration date of 15NOV2018

- Batch number #160517 with an expiration date of 16NOV2018

- Batch number #170517 with an expiration date of 17NOV2018
 
Pet owners who have product matching these batch codes should stop using the product and return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund or replacement. Consumers with questions can contact us at 1-888-345-4680.
 
To date, tbe FDA notes that no pet or human illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported as a result of the bags of the K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast. However, if you or your dog begins to show symptoms, you should immediately contact your health care provider and veterinarian. 
 
Other recent recalls pet parents should be aware of include: 
 
- Carnivore Meat Company issued a voluntary recall on limited batches of Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Toppers and Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Chub Entrée for Dogs pet food because the products may have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. 
 
 
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Shelter Cat Cares for Kittens While Their Mother Recovers from Surgery https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/shelter-cat-cares-kittens-while-their-mother-recovers-surgery-36995  
There are all sorts of superheroes, and sometimes you just happen to find one at the MSPCA-Angell Adoption Center in Boston, Massachusetts. 
 
On March 22, a cat named Church who had recently given birth to a litter of five kittens was brought into MSPCA after her owner was concerned about her health and that of the newborns. As it turns out, Church had suffered a prolapsed uterus after the kittens’ birth, according to a statement from the MSPCA. 
 
"The kittens were weak and underweight because they were unable to feed," says Alyssa Krieger, community outreach coordinator for the MSPCA-Angell. 
 
Church was declared in critical condition when she arrived at the clinic and needed emergency surgery to repair the damage. While she underwent her surgery and healed, however, her kittens still needed care. Enter: Betty. 
 
Found in an abandoned apartment building, Betty was lactating upon her arrival at MSPCA-Angell, though she had no kittens of her own. "It’s very possible that her lactating was some kind of hormonal response," Krieger says of the 2-year-old tabby. 
 
Betty's lactating wasn't the only reason that she became the perfect candidate to help Church's litter grow healthy and strong; she also instantly connected with the kittens. 
 
“It’s extremely rare for us to have a mom cat who is able to take over kitten care for another, and we often have to resort to bottle feeding kittens,” says Krieger. “But we were lucky that Betty was able and willing to foster these kittens while their mother recovered because there are so many nutritional and socialization benefits of a ‘real mom.'"
 
Betty was "very excited to see the kittens and accepted them immediately," Krieger says, adding that Betty—who became a bit protective of the kitties after meeting them—groomed them and encouraged them to nurse. 
 
After Betty nursed all five kittens for two days, some of the litter began to be reintroduced to Church.
 
"Neither cat was producing quite enough milk for all five kittens but we were very happy to see that each could support half of the litter," Krieger says. "This was truly an it-takes-a-village moments." 
 
Now, Church and her kittens is thriving and Betty, who is currently in foster care, is available for adoption. The kittens will be, too, once they are 10-weeks-old. Anyone interested in adopting Betty or the kittens can email adoption@mspca.org for more info or visit the adoption center. 
 
Image via MSPCA-Angell
 
Read more: 10 Interesting Facts About Newborn Kittens
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Strange-purrr Things: Which Netflix Shows Does Your Pet Prefer to Binge Watch? https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/strange-purrr-things-which-netflix-shows-does-your-pet-prefer-binge-wat  
The streaming service found that an estimated 71 percent of Americans prefer to watch TV with their pet by their side. 2017 data shows that roughly 55 million people in the U.S. alone subscribe to Netflix, which means that approximately 38.5 million pets are watching alongside their owners.
 
Among some other interesting statistics from the survey: 47 percent of respondents to the poll said they sit and watch their programs wherever their cat or dog is most comfortable (and 20 percent love watching Netflix with their pets because they won't hog the remote), and 13 percent admitting to turning off a show because it appeared their furry BFF wasn't into it. 
 
As for the cats, dogs and even birds who get in on the binge-watching action with their pet parents, they have their favorites, too. Cat owners reported their felines getting into moody, sci-fi fare like "Black Mirror" and "Star Trek Discovery," while dog owners found that their canines preferred action-packed programming such as "Narcos" and "Marvel's Daredevil." Bird owners on the other hand (er, claw), said their pets sing the praises of the prison dramedy "Orange is the New Black." 
 
If you're a pet parent to more than one species, however, your best bet is "Stranger Things." Turns out, it's not just nostalgia-loving humans that adore the show: Netflix reported that it's the one show that animals enjoyed across the board, too. Just, maybe don't invite any Demogorgons over for your next binge watch. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 
Read more: Can Dogs See TV? 
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Can Growing up with a Cat Prevent Asthma in Children? https://www.petmd.com/news/view/can-growing-cat-prevent-asthma-children-36967  
One of the downsides of having a pet is the increased need to clean. Even the most fastidious pets leave their hair wherever they rest. But pediatrician and researcher Dr. James Gern and his colleagues suggest that there is something about having pets that can actually decrease the risk of childhood allergies and asthma, and it just might be related to that stuff they bring in and leave behind.
 
Do Pets Make Kids Healthier?
 
All across the world, the question of whether pets are good for a child’s health has been asked. There is not much consensus on the answer, unfortunately, however, there is consensus around the hygiene hypothesis—that a childhood devoid of germs entirely can lead to a less healthy child.
 
That’s not to say that all pet germs are good. Keeping a clean litter box for your cat and picking up after your dog are important. However, pet dander, pet-associated bacteria, or the amount of soil and particles kids come in contact with when they have pets may support the development of a healthier immune system.
 
On the other hand, a child’s health might have more to do with the lifestyle of families who choose to share their home with an animal. All of the research reported is self-selective. That is, the families who participated in the studies made their own decision about whether to have a pet and what kind. It could be that families who have pets are also more likely to spend time outside with their children or use fewer anti-bacterial products in the home.
 
To improve the reliability of the results, families would have to be assigned to have a pet or not in order to reduce this potential bias. This, of course, would not be a good idea for either the animals or the people involved.
 
Can Pets Really Prevent Asthma in Kids?
 
In recent years, researchers have begun to investigate particular relationships between genetic risk for allergies or asthma and the presence of a cat or dog in the house. This helps reduce some of the potential self-selection bias by studying only children with higher risk of developing allergies.
 
The meaning of a gene-environment interaction is this: genes are not necessarily active just because they are in your chromosomes. Some genes have to be turned on by another gene or by factors in the environment. Other genes can be switched off. This makes studying something as complex as childhood asthma even more complicated. But it also possibly explains why there is so little consensus between similar studies conducted in different regions of the globe.  
 
The theory of a gene-environment relationship in asthma is supported by a recent study out of Denmark which said that children with the genetic risk factor for asthma were less likely to develop asthma in households with pets, especially cats. The study suggested that the association had to do with the amount of cat dander in the home—more dander meant less likelihood of asthma. The authors also found that high levels of cat dander are associated with increased risk of eczema.
 
However, the largest study conducted on this topic included over 22,000 children and found no relationship between asthma and allergies and pet ownership. If we consider this within the discussion of gene-environment interactions, it could be that this particular study included some children with risks for asthma exacerbated by pets, some whose symptoms were alleviated by pets, and others where pets had no effect on the children.
 
The Bottom Line
 
The take-home message is this: there are many factors that probably influence the development of allergies or asthma in children. Some may be straightforward (for example, air quality), while others have a more nuanced influence on immune health. Pets are great for emotional health and many aspects of physical health. Whether reduced risk of asthma and allergies are among the benefits of pet ownership are still unclear.
 
As a veterinarian, I am comfortable discussing how to care for furry family members. But before you make any decisions about the health of the humans in your family, consult your family physician.
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The Cat Flea Vaccination: What You Should Know https://www.petmd.com/news/view/cat-flea-vaccination-what-you-should-know-36958  
With the start of spring, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief that the tight grip of winter has finally given way to warmer temperatures. However, with warmer temperatures comes the nuisance of fleas for our beloved cats.
 
Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are tiny external parasites that cause big problems. Because they feed on a cat's blood, fleas can cause intense itching that leads to incessant scratching and skin wounds that can become infected. Fleas can also cause anemia and spread diseases like tapeworm. In addition, while adult female fleas feed, they lay numerous eggs that fall off the cat and develop into mature adult fleas. These new fleas are hungry and ready to jump onto an unwitting (and unwilling) cat, continuing the cycle.
 
Current cat flea treatments rid both the cat and environment of fleas. To treat an affected cat, a veterinarian will prescribe long-acting topical medications that contain insecticides, which kills the fleas, or insect growth regulators (IGR), which disrupts the flea's life cycle. Treating the environment entails frequent and thorough cleaning, spraying IGR-containing products inside the home, and possibly even hiring a pest control company. Plus, flea control products aren't exactly environmentally friendly.
 
A Vaccination for Cat Fleas
 
Though not commercially available yet, cat flea vaccines present an environmentally-friendly solution for cat flea infestations. Rather than killing the fleas, a cat flea vaccine would reduce cat flea populations by making it harder for the fleas to carry out normal biological functions-like reproduction-after feeding on a vaccinated cat. Sounds like a good idea, right? Unfortunately, up until now, cat flea vaccine development has hit a roadblock: finding antigens (foreign substances) to put in the vaccine. These antigens would stimulate a cat's immune system to produce proteins called antibodies that would fight back against the fleas.
 
To get around this roadblock, researchers have explored other methods, one of which is called reverse vaccinology. Reverse vaccinology involves scanning an organism's genome (genetic material) using advanced laboratory techniques, then selecting genes that code for vaccine-worthy antigens. A research team recently used reverse vaccinology to analyze the cat flea genome, identify antigens, and develop several cat flea vaccines using those antigens.
 
Next, the researchers vaccinated healthy cats and then infested them with adult, unfed fleas. After the infestation, the researchers studied the vaccines' effects on several biological functions of cat fleas, like fertility, mortality and egg hatchability. The vaccinated cats' immune systems recognized the antigens and responded by making protective antibodies. The fleas, after feeding on the vaccinated cats, were less fertile and their eggs didn't hatch very well.
 
The overall vaccine effectiveness-the ability to control cat flea populations-ranged from 32 to 46 percent. The researchers concluded that the cat flea vaccines controlled cat flea populations by negatively affecting flea reproduction. Even with these promising results, cat flea vaccines will need to undergo much more testing before they become commercially available. In the meantime, talk to your veterinarian about cat flea vaccines and ask if the vaccine may be a good choice for your cat.
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Study: Nearly Half of All Pet Parents Don't Have Car Safety Gear for Their Dogs https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/car-study-finds-48-pet-parents-dont-have-safety-driving-gear-their-dogs-36957  
According to the report (which worked in conjuncture with Harris Poll), an estimated 97 percent of dog owners drive with their pet in the car, but only 48 percent have safety gear for their four-legged companion. 
 
Other shocking finds included that 41 percent of pet parents let their dog ride in the front seat (front seat air bags are not designed to protect dogs), and only 23 percent buckle their canine in to standard seatbelts (unsercured dogs can be a harm to themselves and the driver). The most distressing number in the report, however, is that a mere five percent of drivers have a built-in safety pet system in their automobile. 
 
So what does this all mean for pet parents who still want to take their dogs in the car with them? Well, that there is definitely a need for better safety measures for pets in cars.
 
The study also found that 71 percent of pet owners agree that vehicle manufacturers should proactively build more dog safety features into their vehicles, while 24 percent of all pet parents refuse to travel with their pet in the car because they fear the ride will not be safe enough for them. 
 
"Our survey showed that pet parents want to travel with their furry friends, but worry about safety,” says Jim Nichols, product and technology communications manager for Volvo Car USA. 
 
Even if you don't have a car with a built-in safety feature for pets, you can be a responsible driver and pet parent by properly harnessing your dog in the car as well as using safety items, such as carriers and dog booster seats, every time you drive with your dog. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 
Read more: A Guide for Traveling By Car With Your Pet 
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Spayathon in Puerto Rico Expected to Help Over 20,000 Cats and Dogs https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/spayathon-puerto-rico-expected-help-over-20000-cats-and-dogs-island-36956  
On March 28, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced that it would be launching a spayathon in Puerto Rico, an initiative that has set its sights on spaying and neutering over 20,000 cats and dogs in the region. 
 
According to a press release, the HSUS will be providing spay and neuter services in underserved communities in the area. In addition, the cats and dogs will receive essential vaccines, including rabies and leptospirosis. The HSUS will also donate equipment to areas in need to help further animal welfare efforts on the island.
 
"This is the first time our government has participated in such an ambitious and comprehensive sterilization mission,” says Governor Ricardo Rosselló, who is a partner in the process. “We are thankful to The Humane Society of the United States for its vision and its unwavering commitment to helping the animals of our island.”
 
First Lady Beatriz Rosselló, who collaborated on getting the initiative (which the Puerto Rico Veterinary Medical Association and the Puerto Rico Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners will also participate in) underway, says it is a step in the right direction in reducing the number of stray animals on the streets of Puerto Rico.
 
The spayathon is anticipated to roll out over the span of a year, beginning in early June. The first rounds will take place in Ceiba, Culebra, Manati, Moca, Ponce, San Juan and Vieques. Kitty Block, president and CEO of HSUS, described the effort as "what can happen when government agencies, nonprofits and veterinary medical professionals come together for one cause." 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 
Read more: The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Pets 
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Controversial Pit Bull Ban Lifted in Iowa Town https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/controversial-pit-bull-ban-lifted-iowa-city-36955  
According to local news affliliate KWWL, residents of Anamosa had to prove their dog was not a Pit Bull breed of any kind in order to own it legally for decades prior to the reversal. 
 
The ban recently came under scrunity when new resident Chris Collins attempted to foster a Pit Bull and was turned away by a local shelter. With that, Collins reportedly "challenged the council to take a look at its current ordinance." 
 
Collins, who worked hard with members of the community, council members and veterinarians to help lift the ban, said, "[The ban] doesn't eliminate Pit Bulls. It causes people to go into hiding and the dogs aren't socialized and they're not taken to vets and if you have that, that's a problem for any dog." 
 
The Anamosa City Council agreed with Collins' viewpoint and decided to immediately reverse the law. The city in Iowa joins other regions, including Montreal, in lifting their controversial breed bans. 
 
However, there is still work to be done when it comes to protecting the rights of Pit Bulls and their owners, as DogsBite.org data estimates 1,089 cities in the U.S. alone have Pit Bull-related bans. 
 
The Humane Society of the United States  released the following statement about breed-specific bans: "There is no evidence that breed-specific laws reduce dog bites or attacks on people, and they divert resources from more effective animal control and public safety initiatives ... the [Humane Society] opposes such public policies as inhumane and ineffective." 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 
Read more: Pit Bull Puppy Recovering After Enduring Horrific Abuse
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Touch Screens for Senior Dogs: Can They Help? https://www.petmd.com/news/view/touch-screens-senior-dogs-can-they-help-36954  

When it comes to cognition and mental clarity, the phrase “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” fits. Science has shown that lifelong learning is associated with slowing down the deterioration of mental ability, and it turns out that holds true for our canine companions as well.
 
Researchers at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna recently found that senior dogs responded positively to brain training using a doggie version of Sodoku on a touchscreen. Based on this research, it appears that not only can you teach an old dogs new tricks, but you can also help them sharpen their mental activity by training them to play brain games on a tablet. 
 
Elderly dogs can benefit from training just as much as younger dogs, but by and large, they don’t receive the same kind of interaction from their owners. Reasons vary, but pet parents mistakenly think their old dog doesn’t enjoy training, or the dog has mobility challenges, such as osteoarthritis, that make it difficult to engage in physical activity.
 
The brain is like a muscle—mental exercises make it stronger. When new learning takes place in an old brain, new neuron connections grow together, and the more the action is repeated with mental exercise, the stronger that neural connections becomes.
 
Training an older dog to engage in mental exercises on a touchscreen is a fabulous way to get your senior citizen build his brain muscle through learning and problem solving. Touchscreen activities are particularly good for dogs who have a hard time getting around, but they might not be a good idea if your dog has a seizure disorder or other neural disorders. If that describes your dog, check with your veterinarian before you pull out your iPad.
 
There are a plethora of apps that you can download and use to train your dog to play. You’ll also want to begin teaching your dog the “touch” command, which he will use to touch a tablet screen with his nose.
 
Teaching your dog how to play games on tablets may be time intensive, but I challenge you to think about it as quality time with your old dog that he never, ever takes for granted.
 
Dogs should be closely monitored at all times when using a touchscreen, and pet parents should take caution to hold a tablet firmly or have it firmly affixed, lest an over-exuberant gamer (think 2-year-old male Labrador) send it flying with their nose. Just like kids, all screen time should be monitored. If your dog enjoys the activity, I recommend a maximum of one hour of gaming per day divided into two 30-minute sessions.
 

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A 1-Year-Old Chihuahua Gives Birth to 11 Healthy Puppies https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/1-year-old-chihuahua-gives-birth-11-healthy-puppies-36953  
LOL, who was surrendered to Unleashed Pet Rescue in Mission, Kansas just days before giving birth while in foster care, is only a year-and-a-half old. This marks the dog's second litter in her young life. 
 
"It is not easy on a small dog to have puppies," Rebecca Taylor of Unleashed Pet Rescue told petMD, who adds that LOL "made it through delivery very well with her foster keeping a very close eye on her and babies." 
 
The pups, who are just a week old, are being fed by their mother, as well as receiving supplements when needed. 
 
While LOL and her babies are thriving (and, yes, very cute) it's a reminder of the urgency to spay and neuter pets. LOL and her litter will be spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated and microchipped before being available for adoption. 
 
LOL's amazing story has caught the attention of social media and the news alike, but even with all the hubbub, Taylor says she "has been wonderful with so many visitors and cameras around." 
 
"She is a laid back girl and is a great mom," Taylor says. "LOL is a very mellow girl." 
 
Anyone interested in adopting LOL or one of her puppies can apply here. 
 
Image via Unleashed Pet Rescue Facebook 
 
Read more: 12 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Newborn Puppies 
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Milo’s Kitchen Dog Treats Voluntarily Recalled Due to Potentially Elevated Levels of Thyroid Hormone https://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/milos-kitchen-dog-treats-voluntarily-recalled-due-potentially-elevated-levels-th  
Both Milo’s Kitchen Steak Grillers/Steak Grillers Recipe with Angus Steak and Milo’s Kitchen Grilled Burger Bites with Sweet Potato and Bacon were found to have potentially contained elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.
 
According to a statement from the FDA released on March 22, "Dogs consuming high levels of beef thyroid hormone may exhibit symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, weight loss, increased heart rate and restlessness. These symptoms may resolve when the consumption of these levels is discontinued."
 
The statement also says that with prolonged consumption, the symptoms may increase in severity and can include vomiting, diarrhea and rapid or labored breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, contact your veterinarian immediately.
 
Three illnesses were reported to the FDA, who informed Smucker of the issue. Smucker "immediately initiated a voluntary recall of the limited, impacted production," according to the statement. 
 
Customers who have purchased Milo's Kitchen products with the following UPC codes should discard them: 079100518227, 079100518227, 079100518234, 079100527762, 079100521265. No other Milo’s Kitchen dog treats or any other product manufactured by The J.M. Smucker Company have been impacted.
 
For consumers who have questions or want a refund, they can reach the company at 1-888-569-6767, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST. You can also reach the company via email here. 
 
Other recent recalls pet parents should be aware of include: 
 
- Darwin’s Natural Pet Products announced it is voluntarily recalling a total of four lots of products after testing showed that some of the Chicken and Duck with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs may contain Salmonella, and the Turkey with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs sample may contain Salmonella and E. coli O128.
 
- Blue Ridge Beef is recalling Kitten Grind raw pet food because of the potential of contamination with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.
 
- Radagast Pet Food is recalling one lot of Free-Range Chicken and one lot of Free-Range Turkey Recipe because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
 
- Steve’s Real Food is voluntarily recalling one lot of 5lb Raw Frozen Dog Food Turkey Canine Recipe due to their potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
 
- Raw Basics, LLC. is recalling 540lb of 5lb Pork-Bison Boxes because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
 
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Labrador Retriever Remains at the Top of the AKC's Most Popular Dog Breeds List https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/labrador-retriever-remains-top-akcs-most-popular-dog-breeds-list-36951  
On March 28, the AKC announced the list of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S., giving kudos to their returning champion. "The Labrador Retriever has its paws firmly planted in Americans’ hearts,” says AKC executive secretary Gina DiNardo. "It’s such a versatile and family friendly breed."
 
The AKC called the Labrador Retriever a "friendly, active, and outgoing [breed]. His eager to please temperament is just one of many reasons why he takes top honors year after year." 
 
But the Labrador Retriever has some friendly (and equally adorable) competition. The German Shepherd remained in the runner-up spot for the second year in a row, while the Golden Retriever took the bronze. 
 
The breed to watch, however, is the French Bulldog. Landing in the 4th place spot for 2017, the Frenchie only continues to rapidly grow in popularity year after year. In fact, the French Bulldog's jump from the no. 6 spot to the no. 4 spot knocked the Beagle out of the no. 5 spot for the first time since 1998. 
 
"The French bulldog is poised for a takeover,” says DiNardo, crediting the breed's "adaptability" and "loveable temperament."
 
Here are the top 10 most popular breeds in the U.S. in 2017, according to the AKC: 
 
1. Labrador Retriever
 
2. German Shepherd
 
3. Golden Retriever
 
4. French Bulldog
 
5. Bulldog
 
6. Beagle
 
7. Poodle
 
8. Rottweiler
 
9. Yorkshire Terrier
 
10. German Shorthaired Pointer
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 
Read more: 10 Best Dogs for Kids and Families 
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USDA Withdraws From Organic Animal Welfare Rule https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/usda-withdraws-organic-animal-welfare-rule-36950  
A statement released by the USDA explained that the existing organic regulations, "could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program, including real costs for producers and consumers." 
 
The USDA's marketing and regulatory program undersecretary Greg Ibach added that "The existing robust organic livestock and poultry regulations are effective," but some animal welfare groups and pro-organic organizations would beg to differ. 
 
The Organic Trade Organization has said that it "strongly condemn[s]" the actions of the USDA's decision to kill the OLPP, which they call "a fully vetted regulation overwhelmingly supported by the organic industry and the public." 
 
“This most recent egregious attempt by the Department to ignore the will of the organic industry and consumers does not halt our judicial review, but, in fact, furthers our resolve,” says Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of the Organic Trade Association.
 
The OLPP included a variety of new practices and improvements for organic livestock, including chickens having daily access to the outdoors and prohibiting the de-beaking of birds and the tail-docking (removal) of cattle. 
 
"Millions of animals will continue to suffer each year because of the USDA’s abdication of its duty to enforce meaningful organic animal welfare standards," adds ASPCA president and CEO Matt Bershadker. 
 
The ASPCA further said that the OLPP rule "would have been the first comprehensive set of regulations governing on-farm treatment of animals implemented by the federal government." 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 
Read more: Healthy Foods Checklist: Chicken for Dogs
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https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/usda-withdraws-organic-animal-welfare-rule-36950#comments care Care & Safety safety Mon, 26 Mar 2018 15:14:04 +0000 36950 at https://www.petmd.com
Cat and Owner Reunited After a Hurricane Separated Them 14 Years Ago https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/cat-and-owner-reunited-after-hurricane-separated-them-14-years-ago-36949  
On March 14, Martin—a retired K-9 officer— received a call he was never expecting: the Humane Society of Treasure Coast (HSTC) in Palm City, Florida had his cat, Thomas Jr. (aka T2). The stray feline was brought into the facility and, after he was scanned for a mircochip, he was traced back to Martin. The pair, as it turns out, had been separated for 14 years. 
 
Back in 2004, T2 accidentally escaped from Martin's home during Hurricane Jeanne. According to a press release from HSTC, Perry had filed a missing animal report, and after countless fruitless searches for the cat, had assumed the worst. Perry thought his beloved T2 had passed on, but thanks his microchip and the efforts of the HSTC, their story is not over. Martin told the HSTC he "couldn't believe it" when he got the news. 
 
In an interview with local news affiliate WPTV, Martin said, "As soon as I looked at that face, I knew exactly who he was. A little bit older, kind of like me!" (T2 is estimated to be about 18 years old now.) 
 
"T2’s in pretty rough shape, hardly eating at all and he sleeps 98 percent of the time,” Martin told the HSTC. “I wish I knew where he went … what he’s been doing all of this time."
 
Still, the cat owner says he's grateful for their reunion and hoping to make up for lost time by giving T2 some much-needed love and care. "He had an opportunity to come home, spend time with his family and be on a good note when he passes. Until that day, he'll be spoiled like he was before he left," Martin told WPTV.
 
HSTC adoption manager Deidre Huffman said in a statement that Martin and T2's amazing reunion shows just how important it is to have pets microchipped, as well as having all your information up to date with your vet.
 
"There are lots of other cases where the owners can’t be found because the information was not kept current," she says.
 
Image via Perry Martin 
 
Read more: Website Tracks Where Cats Reside Around the World, Including Yours
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https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/cat-and-owner-reunited-after-hurricane-separated-them-14-years-ago-36949#comments Care & Safety cat Thu, 22 Mar 2018 14:48:25 +0000 36949 at https://www.petmd.com
United Airlines Temporarily Suspending Cargo Transportation of Animals on Flights https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/united-airlines-temporarily-suspending-transportation-animals-flights-36948  
"We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets," the airline said in a blog post. 
 
United has recently found itself in hot water with pet owners and animal lovers alike over the past few weeks. First came the heartbreaking death of a 10-month-old French Bulldog puppy, who suffocated when the dog's owners were allegedly told by a flight attendant that their pet had to be put in the overhead bin. 
 
Then, just days later, two different incidents of dogs being sent to the wrong destinations, including a Kansas-bound German Shepherd that was mistakenly shipped to Japan, occured aboard United flights. 
 
Travelers with pets will still be able to bring their pets on board with them for flights during this review period, and the airline announced that beginning in April "we will issue bright colored bag tags to help better identify pets who are traveling in-cabin." 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 
Read more: Puppy Dies on United Flight After Attendant Allegedly Asked Family to Put Dog in Overhead Bin
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https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/united-airlines-temporarily-suspending-transportation-animals-flights-36948#comments Care & Safety dog Wed, 21 Mar 2018 05:17:22 +0000 36948 at https://www.petmd.com
Pit Bull Puppy Recovering After Enduring Horrific Abuse https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/pit-bull-puppy-recovering-after-enduring-horrific-abuse-36947  
On February 23, the 9-month-old Pit Bull was found on the streets of West Philadelphia suffering from horrific injuries. She was picked up by animal control authorities and was slated for euthanasia because her injuries were so severe.
 
According to a Facebook post from Outcast Rescue, the Pennsylvania shelter that rescued Emmie just in time, Emmie's abuser(s) "tied her mouth shut so tight and for so long that it caused a very deep open wound around her entire snout that it actually sliced her lips on the sides. The wounds are so deep the bone is exposed and the flesh is infected and necrotic." 
 
Thankfully, Outcast Rescue has made sure Emmie is getting the care she needs. The pup was immediately admitted to Crown Veterinary Specialists and Emergency in Lebanon, New Jersey where her wounds were dressed and her pain managed. 
 
Since being admitted to the vet, Emmie has undergone two surgeries to close the massive wounds inflicted upon her and repair the damages caused by the injuries (including a molar that had to be extracted). A YouCaring page and an Amazon wishlist have been set up by Outcast Rescue for those who want to donate to help pay for Emmie's medical costs.
 
Even after enduring such traumatic abuse, Emmie is a happy, strong and forgiving puppy. Outcast Rescue says on Facebook that "she is hands down the happiest dog we have ever brought into the rescue, handing out kisses and wiggles all over the vet!" 
 
Emmie is currently in foster care as she recovers and will eventually be available for adoption. Until then, Outcast Rescue is doing everything they can to help her and bring justice to her abusers. According to USA Today, "the Pennsylvania SPCA has been contacted to conduct a cruelty investigation" and the case is currently pending with the organization. 
 
Outcast Rescue is urging anyone with information about Emmie's abusers to contact them at outcastrescue@gmail.com. 
 
Image via Outcast Rescue 
 
Read more: Puppy's Eyes and Mouth Glued Shut in Disturbing Act of Animal Cruelty
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https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/pit-bull-puppy-recovering-after-enduring-horrific-abuse-36947#comments Care & Safety dog puppy Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:57:52 +0000 36947 at https://www.petmd.com
Great Dane Breeder Found Guilty of Animal Cruelty https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/great-dane-breeder-found-guilty-animal-cruelty-36945  
As previously reported, the 84 Great Danes were living with limited access to food or water, and the smell of ammonia, feces and raw chicken overwhelmed the rescuers on site (some of the horror was caught on film as they taped the rescue efforts). 
On March 12, more than 6 months after the dogs were brought to safety, Christina Fay, the woman responsible for endangering the well-being of these dogs, was found guilty of 17 counts of animal cruelty. 
 
"In December, a district court convicted and sentenced Fay on 10 counts of animal cruelty, a decision she appealed," according to a blog post from HSUS president and CEO Kitty Block. "The jury that handed down today’s decision after a two-week trial at the Carroll County Superior Court in Ossipee, New Hampshire, heard compelling testimony from witnesses, including a veterinarian experienced in investigating animal cruelty cases who testified that conditions within Fay’s home were the worst she had ever seen."
 
Fay's conviction is being hailed as a "huge victory" against "commercial breeders who neglect and mistreat the animals in their care," according to Block's post. Fay's hearing to determine her sentencing, as well as who will get custody of the dogs, is expected to be scheduled within the next month. 
 
Many of the dogs that were found on Fay's New Hampshire property suffered major health issues, and getting them proper care and housing cost the HSUS over $1 million. 
 
Because of the high cost of care for abused animals, Block also announced that the organization has been working with New Hampshire lawmakers to address the enormous financial burden on taxpayers and non-profit organizations in caring for animals legally seized from cruelty investigations. As a result, the New Hampshire state Senate passed a bill that, "puts the financial burden of caring for rescued animals on the perpetrators of the cruelty involved, rather than on taxpayers," according to the post.
 
Image via The Humane Society of the United States 
 
Read more: What to Do When You See a Pet Being Abused or Neglected
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https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/great-dane-breeder-found-guilty-animal-cruelty-36945#comments Care & Safety dog Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:18:02 +0000 36945 at https://www.petmd.com
Puppy Dies on United Flight After Attendant Allegedly Asked Family to Put Dog in Overhead Bin https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/puppy-dies-united-flight-after-attendant-allegedly-asked-family-put-dog-overhead-bi  
On March 12, Catalina Robledo, her young daughter, Sophia Ceballos, and her newborn baby were flying from New York City to Houston aboard a United Airlines flight with their dog, a 10-month-old French Bulldog puppy named Kokito. 
 
According to ABC News, the family said they were told by a flight attendant that they must place the pup, who was in a carrier bag, into the overhead bin to avoid blocking any paths. The family claimed they asked to hold the dog carrying the bag in their lap, but the attendant insisted the dog be stowed away and helped them do it. They also noted they were not able to check on the dog throughout the flight because of turbulence (and the family claimed the attendant later said she had no idea there was a dog in the bag). 
 
The puppy—who was in the small space for the duration of the three-plus hour flight with no access to water or air and reportedly barked a few times— suffocated, lost conciousness and was unable to survive. When a dog loses oxygen, artificial respiration must be provided and the dog should be taken into emergency veterinary care in order to be given ventilator support as well. 
 
A fellow passenger on the flight named June Lara wrote a Facebook post about the entire incident, in which she shared that the flight attendant insisted the dog be placed in the overhead bin and would be safe, but when the plane landed, it was a very different outcome.
 
"There was no sound as we landed and opened his kennel. There was no movement as his family called his name. I held her baby as the mother attempted to resuscitate their 10-month-old puppy. I cried with them three minutes later as she sobbed over his lifeless body. My heart broke with theirs as I realized he was gone," Lara wrote. 
 
United Airlines, which allows pets on their flights (and according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent air travel consumer report, has the highest rate of incidents of loss, injury or death during air transportation when it comes to animals on board), responded to the incident in an e-mail statement to petMD.
 
"This was a tragic accident that should have never occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin," the statement said. "We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again."
 
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union, which represents United employees, also released a statement that said, "We feel deeply for the pet owner who experienced this tragic event. This was clearly a terrible accident as there is not a single Flight Attendant working for any airline who would knowingly direct a passenger to put their pet in an overhead bin. We look forward to working with the industry to achieve real solutions that will avoid such a terrible accident."
 
Unfortunately, the statements made by both organizations have done little to comfort the grieving family, including 11-year-old Sophia Ceballos who told ABC News, "It makes me feel sad—I just really miss him. He was a member of our family. He was like my brother to me." 
 
Other animal lovers and activists, including PETA, are also speaking out about the tragedy. The organization released their own statement about the incident, urging the flight attendant in question to be fired and charged with cruelty to animals.
 
"PETA reminds everyone that it is up to each of us to keep our companion animals safe, and we should never allow someone to put them in harm’s way, including by confining them to a small space with no air flow—no trip is that important," the statement read. 
 
Image via @kokito_the_savage Instagram 
 
Read more: Traveling by Air with Your Dog
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https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/puppy-dies-united-flight-after-attendant-allegedly-asked-family-put-dog-overhead-bi#comments Care & Safety dog puppy Wed, 14 Mar 2018 14:34:47 +0000 36943 at https://www.petmd.com
Teacher Under Investigation After Feeding a Puppy to a Snapping Turtle https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/science-teacher-under-investigation-after-feeding-puppy-snapping-turtle-36942  
According to EastIdahoNews.com, Crosland fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in the classroom. Local news affliate Fox13 reported that the puppy, who was allegedly sick, was alive at the time, and students and faculty alike could hear its cries throughout the school. 
 
While the event occurred "well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school-directed program," according to a press release from Preston school district superintendent Marc Gee, administrators still decided to investigate the incident immediately. Local animal activist Jill Parrish filed the police report against Crosland. 
 
“A part of any investigation includes determining the best course of action once the facts of the matter have been ascertained. This is not a situation that is easy, nor do we feel it is a measure that can be taken lightly,” Gee says. As of now, Crosland has not been cited or charged, nor has he been placed on leave by the school. 
 
Parrish, who called the act "sickening," told Fox13, "There’s a lot of humane things you can do. Feeding a live animal to a reptile is not humane and it's not okay." While some share her sentiments, others, including some students and parents, are okay with Crosland's actions and teaching methods (the beloved science teacher allegedly often intergrates snakes and turtles into his lessons and classroom). 
 
In a statement released to petMD from PETA's senior director Stephanie Bell said, "This teacher—who is allegedly known for feeding guinea pigs to reptiles during lessons—is a bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people. Any youngster who witnessed cruelty in the classroom is now in desperate need of lessons about having empathy for other living beings." 
 
Bell added that PETA's TeachKind, their humane education division is "is urging the school district to take this incident seriously" 
 
Gee said that the school district "does not condone individual actions that may violate district policy or reasonable expectations of behavior," adding, "We hope that any errors in judgment made by a teacher in this instance will not cause us to forget the years of care, effort and passion the teacher has given to students in Preston School District." 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 
Read more: How Big Do Turtles Get? 
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https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/science-teacher-under-investigation-after-feeding-puppy-snapping-turtle-36942#comments dog Health & Science puppy Tue, 13 Mar 2018 14:56:19 +0000 36942 at https://www.petmd.com
Cat Rescued From Dryer Vent Survives Despite Major Injuries https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/cat-rescued-dryer-vent-survives-despite-major-injuries-36941  
On February 13, a 1-year-old cat was brought into the Wisconsin Humane Society's Okauzee campus with major injuries after being found in a dryer vent at a residence.
 
According to a statement from the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS), the kitty, who was saved and brought to the facility by a Good Samaritan, suffered "deep wounds to her head, ears and leg, likely trying to escape. She also suffered burns to her face and ears." 
 
The cat—who has since been aptly named Maytag—was immediately given pain medication by the veterinary staff and was treated for her wounds. Since she arrived at the humane society, Maytag has been under close observation and has been an ideal patient, according to staff.
 
"She purrs the minute you touch her," said Angela Speed, vice president of communications at WHS. "She doesn’t even mind having her bandages changed, and our staff and volunteers adore her. I’m so glad we’re able to save her – she was in tremendous pain when she first arrived."
 
No one has claimed Maytag as their own (and there was no suspicion of animal cruelty, as it appears the curious feline simply just wandered into the wrong place), and the organization expects her to be available for adoption by the middle of the month. WHS has also set up a donation page to help fund Maytags continued medical care.
 
While Maytag is extremely lucky to have survived her ordeal, she serves as a reminder for all pet parents and animal lovers to check their dryer vents.
 
"We do occasionally see wild animals caught in dryer vents, seeking the warmth of a home, but it’s highly unusual to learn of a cat crawling in," Speed says. "It’s a great reminder to check your dryer vent on the exterior of the house – it should have a flap to prevent such intruders, not only for your family’s safety, but for the animal, as well." 
 
Image via Wisconsin Humane Society Facebook 
 
Read more: Kitten Flushed Down Toilet By Child is Miraculously Rescued
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https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/cat-rescued-dryer-vent-survives-despite-major-injuries-36941#comments Care & Safety Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:35:55 +0000 36941 at https://www.petmd.com